“We're looking at this as a very important anniversary year for the Komets to honor those former players, especially those from the first couple of decades,” team president Michael Franke said. “They are getting up there in years and we want to make sure that we properly honor those who made all this possible.”
Along with a soon-to-be-announced 60th anniversary logo, there will be a Komets Legends game against the Detroit Red Wings Alumni team, some new inductees into the Komets Hall of Fame and possibly a retired number added to the banners.
The Komets closed out the 2010-11 season officially Wednesday night with their annual fan party and jersey auction at Memorial Coliseum. The team raised $18,325, which will be distributed to several charities. Defenseman Guy Dupuis' jersey was the top bid with $2,750 followed by Kevin Reiter for $1,150, Leo Thomas for $1,000, and Bobby Phillips and Artem Podshendyalov at $950.
Komets general manager David Franke said he's started conducting exit interviews with the players. He doesn't expect to sign anyone for next season for several weeks after the team completes organizational meetings with the coaching staff. Only coach Al Sims, center Colin Chaulk and left wing P.C. Drouin are under contract for next season. The Komets have to submit their eight-man protected list to the CHL in June.
Derek Patrosso will have shoulder surgery soon to repair a torn labrum, and Sean O'Connor and Dan LaPointe will continue to be under observation for concussion symptoms. Kaleigh Schrock's surgically repaired tendon was also re-evaluated Tuesday.
“The doctor said I could not run or jump for 10-12 weeks,” he said. “I could skate in six weeks. If we would have won, there may have been a chance I could have played. Now it's OK to let it rest and not worry about it. I wish we were still going, obviously. It's tough to be here tonight knowing we could be getting ready for Colorado.”
Just returned from a CHL owners meeting, Michael Franke said it's a weird time in minor league hockey right now as everyone continues to look around for answers to the sport's economic problems.
“We've committed to the Central Hockey League,” he said. “There's no question about that. I'm satisfied with things in the CHL, but I'm not satisfied with things going on in the industry, and that's a broken record for me. I've been saying this for a long time.
“We have a lot of smart people in the business now, probably a better group than we've had in a number of years. I'm sure all of those businessmen and businesswomen who are involved in ownership of these teams are beginning to do all the right things. I think we started that process out last spring. … I choose to be optimistic that things are going to work out well for minor league hockey.”